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Andy Fredericks Training Days – Updated!

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The first day of the Andy Fredericks Training Days was a great success! The largest group ever to attend the annual three-day conference arrived at the communal breakfast buzzing with energy and brotherhood despite the early hour.


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It’s a yearly thing that I notice in my gym; right around this time of year, the stations seem to be busier, the cardio room is more crowded, and the wife can never seem to find an open elliptical machine. “What gives?” I always ponder, as I turn away from yet another several-deep line in front of a station. Then it hits me, just like it always does.

The first probation test.

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"Rookie! It's tiiiime!" Punctuated by the sound of the door being kicked open, Sarge strode out of the officer's quarters with a grin on his face and a taunting inflection in his voice. He was covering for my usual officer that day, and what a special day it was: time for my first ("sixth-month") probation test […]

Favorite posts thus far.

I was looking through some of my earlier posts today (I was trying to find one specific picture from the Academy), and I found myself having a damned good laugh while doing so. I had forgotten about some of these, but they're definitely keepers. Maybe you'll get a good chuckle out of them, too. First Due: We're […]


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A page from The Writer's Block, a cube-shaped book (get it?)  full of random ideas to jump-start the creative half of your brain.  I was flipping through it the other day and found this page. "Paramedic Engine 15 and Ambulance 15, respond for the cardiac arrest…" Dammit. I haven't even done the run sheet from the […]; publicity for RL!

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Tom Bridge, co-founder and author of came across Raising Ladders the other day, and he liked it so much that he posted a brief write-up in the WLDC daily feed. is a collective blog written by a diverse population of authors who all have one thing in common: they are all enamored with […]

A different view of D.C.

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The John H. Glenn Jr., Washington, D.C.'s 70'-long flagship fireboat.  It was built in 1962 for the FDNY, and was purchased by DCFD in 1977 for one dollar. All the air inside my drysuit escaped with an audible whoosh as I stretched the rubber neck seal outwards, à la Rodney Dangerfield. I struggled to stay […]

The next hoop.

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Some good news is being passed around today. I've received word that a handful of us paramedics are being pushed along into the next stage of the DCFD pipeline, starting Monday. There's some meetings, some more paperwork (I'm sure), but it at least it means that we're moving forward.  Sadly, it means that I may […]


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"Y'all better be alert! Best pay attention over here!" The members of Engine 15 and a truck company were standing around the scene of a gas leak; we had just shut the supply off when our attention was drawn to the shirtless man quickly walking up to us.  "You know why? You know why? Because […]

Enjoying the fireworks.

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We pulled up to the building on 12th street and hopped out. Taking a second to scan the street, I saw only a single truck company and Rescue 3 pulling up beside us. "Uh… aren't we fourth due?" "Yep. Come on, rook… let's run the 400." And so in the front door we went. We […]

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